Start a new service project today!

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service staff

Does your club want to try a new type of service project or want to find a project in another region to partner on and are not sure where to start?

The Project Lifecycle Kit tools can help with all your service project needs. These online resources guide your project from inception to implementation while also facilitating connections with other Rotarians around the world. Rotary is unique in that service means more than just helping others. We’re also about forming valuable partnerships that make projects more sustainable and in turn help foster more peaceful communities. So which tools comprise the Project Lifecycle Kit?

Through Discussion Groups, Rotarians have access to a plethora of information from other Rotary members who provide valuable support during the planning phases of a project. Use these groups to pose questions to other members and tap into their expertise, experience, and advice. If you are starting a project in one of our areas of focus, you can take advantage of our Cadre of Technical Advisors moderated groups.

For example, the Water and Sanitation Group gives you the opportunity to receive advice from subject matter experts, as well as members of our Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (Wasrag).

A few recent enhancements to Rotary Ideas makes finding a project partner easier than ever before! A Google Translate option is now available on each project page, expanding the options for partnering beyond the boundaries of language. You can now search for projects by filtering by contribution type (volunteers, partnerships, online contributions, and materials), making it easier to find the types of projects you want to support.

For example, the Water For Life Project in Egypt is looking for global grant partner to help provide safe and clean water to families living in poverty.

Remember to continue to share your success stories on Rotary Showcase, recently updated to allow you to tag Rotarian Action Groups and Rotary Community Corps as project partners. Identifying all of your Rotary project partners ensures that your good work is shared as accurately as possible within our communities and the world.

For example, through a global grant, the Rotary Club of San Pedro South in the Philippines installed a solar powered potable water treatment system at a local elementary school benefiting 1100 students. The project included a deep well with a submersible pump powered by a solar panel. The system can produce up to 2000 liters per hour when the solar panel is at its peak capacity. To manage project operations and maintenance, including how to share the potable water with the surrounding community, the Cuyab Rotary Community Corps (RCC) was formed with officers from the school faculty, the parent teacher association and local government. The RCC will decide how the water will be shared with the nearby community, its price, schedule and mechanics.

As always, if you have any questions regarding these tools, please feel free to contact social@rotary.org for assistance.

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Find inspiration at the Atlanta Convention

If you’re joining us at the 2017 Rotary International Convention, 10-14 June, expect to hear inspirational keynote speakers, participate in a variety of service-related breakout sessions, and make new friends in the House of Friendship!

Preconvention events:

Service-oriented breakout sessions:

Plan to attend afternoon breakout sessions 12-14 June:

  • Rotary Friendship Exchanges: Enhancing the Rotary Experience Through International Exchanges: — participating in an exchange deepens global understanding, strengthens international ties, raises opportunities to explore vocations abroad, and even helps develop international service partnerships. Find inspiration from previous exchange participants, meet prospective exchange partners, and trade ideas on how you’ll join the program as a host or visitor.
  • Rotary Community Corps: Community Solutions for Community Challenges — a Rotary Community Corps consists of non-Rotarians who share our commitment to service and carry out community projects as well as support Rotary club projects. Nearly 8,500 RCCs in 90 countries are working to develop future leaders and conduct effective service. Learn about the role of RCCs in community development, along with how to form an RCC and how to team with RCCs on projects.
  • Vocational Service and Appreciation: Enhance Member Engagement — learn how recognizing the worth of members’ occupations, skills, and talents can improve member retention.
  • Rotary and Peace Corps: Partnering to Empower Communities — the service partnership formed in 2015 between Rotary and Peace Corps offers opportunities for clubs to work with active and returned Peace Corps volunteers. Learn how teaming with Peace Corps volunteers can address Rotary’s six areas of focus while enhancing goodwill, international understanding, and capacity building in more than 60 countries around the world.
  • Life as a ShelterBox Response Team Member — Rotary’s project partner for disaster relief, ShelterBox, will bring to life the mission of a response team and show what it takes to help on the ground immediately after a disaster.
  • These Rotarian Action Groups will host sessions about their service initiatives and opportunities to team with them on a related cause in your community: Clubfoot, Peace, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Malaria, Hepatitis, Slavery, Literacy, and Family Health and AIDS Prevention.

Make connections in the House of Friendship

Visit the House of Friendship to network with fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors and learn about Rotary Fellowships, Rotarian Action Groups, Rotary’s partners, service projects, and much more. Download the Convention Events and Booth Exhibit Guide for Rotary Fellowships and Rotarian Action Groups, then prepare to connect with groups that share your interests and expertise.

Review the preliminary schedule for breakout sessions, and watch a recording of the convention orientation webinar for convention highlights, cultural tips, and resources. Download the Rotary Events app for up-to-date information on convention events. Follow the convention on social media using #Rotary17.

Ethical dilemma: what would you do?

As your club’s vocational service chair, you have been engaging young professionals through mentorship initiatives and career counseling projects. You would like more of your fellow club members to participate in these initiatives since many of the mentees are starting off in their careers and you want to introduce them to Rotary and all it offers. You would like to see the young professionals join your club, but have received feedback that they cannot attend your club’s meetings because of the cost and inconvenient time.

You propose to your club leadership that they should change the location, time, and introduce a reduced cost option to attract young professionals. The youth have mentioned that they like to meet with one another at a local bar, so you suggest your club starts meetings at this location instead where drinks and food are optional making it more affordable for the prospective members. Your club leadership is opposed to this idea; they believe it will drive away current members who are not comfortable in that setting. You believe these changes will help attract young professionals to join your club while helping members get more engaged with youth.

What would you do?

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If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma for discussion, email us at rotary.service@rotary.org.

Talk with area of focus experts in Rotary discussion groups!

By Chelsea Mertz, Rotary Service Connections staff

Rotary discussion groups offer a place for Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Peace Fellows, and alumni to share their experiences and ideas with members of the Rotary family from around the world.

Experts from the Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary projects, are moderating the area of focus-related discussion groups from 15 January until 30 June. Whether you are looking to pursue a global grant or learn how to assess a community, our experts are here to answer your questions and guide discussions on the most pertinent topics.

Meet our moderators and click the links below to join the conversations.

Basic Education and Literacy (BEL)

Ian Geddes | Rotary Club of Tranent, Scotland | District 1020

Ian is an educator specializing in languages. He has evaluated applications for projects involving foreign language learning and has experience conducting advanced site visits in the area of curriculum development with particular emphasis on information technology.

Past Rotary International Director John Thorne | Rotary Club of North Hobart, Australia | District 9830

John is currently the Chair of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group. As a former education administrator, his areas of expertise are in teacher trainings and addressing the needs of children and adults in different environments. John believes his transferable strength is to listen and share insights and seek practical steps forward within BEL. He remains an active learner.

Disease Prevention and Treatment (DPT)

Dennis Addo | Rotary Club of Accra-Ring Road Central, Ghana | District 9102

Dennis directs the tuberculosis control program for the Ghanaian Armed Forces. He is a public health expert and a healthcare administrator.

Indumati Nair | Rotary Club of Bombay Chembur West, India | District 3141

Indumati is a pathologist focusing on health screening and preventative medicine. She serves as a health consultant for the Times of India newspaper. Her research interests include cancer screening for women, HIV screening, tuberculosis, diabetes and anemia. Her focus is on vocational training teams and capacity building.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

Prudence Nelson | Rotary Club of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, USA | District 6360

Prudence is a practicing pediatrician with over 30 years of experience. She holds a Master’s of Public Health in Preventive Medicine as well as a Master’s of Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a frequent volunteer with Medical Teams International traveling to conflict zones and sites of recent disasters to provide emergency medical services to vulnerable populations.

Richard Randolph | Rotary Club of Shawnee, USA | District 5710

Richard is a board certified family physician, who includes obstetrics and pediatrics in his practice. He has served as the Chief of Primary Care for Fort Bragg, NC (US Army Base for 40,000 soldiers and 20,000 dependents) and sits on the Board of Directors for College Park Family Care which has over 90 physicians. He completed a graduate certificate in Public Health in the Developing World through the Institute for International Medicine.

Water and Sanitation (WAS)

Past District Governor Ronald Pickford | Rotary Club of Ballarat, Australia | District 9780

Ronald first joined Rotary in 1985 and has served in many different leadership roles. Professionally, Ronald is an architect who runs a private practice. In recent years, he has moved into teaching and currently serves in the role of Faculty Head Architectural Technologies and Design at Federation University Australia, a position he has held for ten years. As a TRF Cadre member, Ronald has undertaken several assignments in many countries.

Past District Governor Jan Leentvaar | Rotary Club of Lelystad, Netherlands | District 1590

Jan was a managing director for the Netherlands Ministry of Water Management and has considerable experience in change management in government institutions. He completed foreign assignments, some with the United Nations. He is considered an expert in integrated water resources management, water pollution and water quality control, wastewater treatment, and institutional collaboration on water issues.

Economic and Community Development (ECD)

Tristam Johnson | Rotary Club of Brattleboro Sunrise, USA | District 7870

Tristam has over 18 years of experience in Latin America working on community development projects that focus on local governance, education, health, economic development, micro enterprise, and project design. His areas of expertise include microenterprise, community assessment, and project design.

Lynne Duckham | Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise, Australia | District 9710

Lynne has worked in economic and community development for over 30 years in developed, developing and troubled nations. During this time, she has had the unique perspective of representing a government donor, an international NGO, and a beneficiary government. She has worked with people from remote communities to the heads of state across a variety of sectors (including education, health, nutrition, fisheries, agriculture, microcredit, infrastructure and livelihood development, capacity building, and community development during conflict.)

Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution (PCPR)

Simona Pinton | Rotary Club of Pagova Euganea, Italy | District 2060

Simona is a lawyer and former Rotary Peace Scholar. Her professional experience lays in teaching and researching on issues dealing with international and internal conflicts, peace and conflict prevention/solution tools, as well as conceptual defining, thinking, designing and assessing of local and transnational projects on the same issues.

M.D. Kinoti | Rotary Club of Westminster 7:10, USA | District 5450

M.D. has over 25 years’ experience in International Nongovernmental Organizations (INGOs) and university level teaching and leadership. He currently teaches Nonprofit/Nongovernmental Organizations’ (NP/GOs’) Management within the Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM) degree program at Regis University. His research interests include the role of NP/NGOs in facilitating sustainable and transformational community development and peacebuilding. He also has interests in social entrepreneurship and innovation as part of sustainable development.

All discussion groups can be found in My Rotary (must be signed in to access).

Rotary Community Corps empowers people living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

By Past District Governor Barry Clayman, District 7950, President of Rotary Community Corps of Adult Day Health Programs, Inc.

In 2001, the program director of Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) at the New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton, Massachusetts, USA, reached out to the Rotary Club of Brockton for financial assistance. This outpatient program offers each participant individualized professional and nursing health care based on their needs. The intent of the request was to financially assist families that could not afford the program. Those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, and other medical issues, could be well served if able to participate.

An estimated 120,000 people, in Massachusetts, live with Alzheimer’s/Dementia and that number is expected to grow. The club president reached out to me in my capacity as District Governor at the time and we decided to form a Rotary Community Corps (RCC). RCCs, composed of members from the local community, help plan and carry out projects based on their community’s needs. With the support of the District, the Club established the Rotary Community Corps of Adult Day Health Programs, Inc. (RCCADHP) to support the clients needing the outpatient Adult Day Health Care services.

The RCCADHP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt entity with the goal of providing funding for clients that meet care and financial qualifications. At the time of this writing, the RCC has provided 9,100 ADHC outpatient days, at the Hospital, with a value of $542,600 USD.

The beneficiaries are able to avoid nursing homes by continuing to live in the comfort of their own homes while receiving needed daily outpatient services and care at the hospital. Their family members are at peace knowing their loved ones are in a nurturing environment, receive two meals each day, and participating in stimulating activities with opportunities for socialization. This allows families respite to work and maintain other responsibilities.

The Rotary Community Corps of Adult Day Health Programs, Inc. is led by twelve members of a Board of Directors and is an entirely volunteer organization with no paid employees.  Funding for the RCC is generated from grants, Rotarians and fundraising.  The most recent grant is from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. In the spring, we will host our Annual Stepping-Up Walkathon to raise money and awareness.

While the RCC addresses the need of clients with existing Alzheimer’s/Dementia and other medical issues, we understand the need for scientific research to work towards an ultimate goal of determining the cause of these illnesses. Studies project an exponential increase in the number of Alzheimer’s/Dementia cases in the years ahead.  To that concern, Rotary is stepping forward in supporting much needed research. Our RCC aims to continue to support those in our local community suffering from Alzheimer’s/Dementia while raising awareness of these illnesses.

Contact us to learn more or start a similar program in your area.

Getting the most from Rotary’s social tools

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service Connections staff

Is your club looking to implement a service project, but lacking funds or materials? Are you seeking specific expertise within the areas of focus to assist with planning and applying for a global grant? More than 25,000 Rotary clubs and members are using Rotary’s Project Lifecycle Kit to reach their service goals.

The Project Lifecycle Kit, consisting of – Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase – is your one-stop-shop for digital tools that can help you with planning and supporting your service project and then promoting and sharing its impact. These online tools help the Rotary family build connections, find project resources and partners, and share their successes to help you be more effective, efficient, and ready to take action! These tools represent the many phases of a service project and serve as a set of resources that can ensure success throughout the lifecycle of a project.

While you brainstorm and strategize ideas, connect with others to exchange best practices through Rotary Discussion Groups. By soliciting support on Rotary Ideas, contributions from the Rotary community and beyond can help make your service goal a reality. Then share your project impact to inspire others through Rotary Showcase.

Join us on 14 March for the Getting the most from Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase webinar to learn the Project Lifecycle Kit basics to help you maximize your project’s impact. Space is limited, so sign up today!

› Tuesday, March 14, 10:00 – 10:30 AM Chicago time (UTC-5); convert to your local time.

Rotary programs offer opportunities to advance world peace

By Rotary Service and Engagement Staff

February is Rotary’s Peace and Conflict Resolution Month, a great time to take action in promoting peace worldwide. Rotary offers a variety of programs that allow members to discover new cultures, exchange ideas, promote global understanding, and develop leaders who become catalysts for peace. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

Exchange opportunities

With 1.2 million members from 200 countries and geographical areas, you’re near Rotary friends wherever you go. Expand your worldview and build goodwill through a Rotary Friendship Exchange, New Generations Service Exchange, or Rotary Youth Exchange:

Discover new cultures

International service opportunities allow members to make connections, exchange diverse perspectives, learn from one another, and make a global impact. Engage with fellow members outside your club and district:

  • Regionally hosted project fairs offer life-changing opportunities for international visitors to learn about a host region, make new friends, and connect with clubs in need of international partners. Read how the West Africa Project Fair changed Rotaractor Shapreka Clarke’s life.
  • Twin clubs, or sister clubs, represent a long-term relationship between two international clubs that promotes understanding, goodwill, and collaboration on service projects in their communities. Celebrate this relationship with a Twin Club Certificate of Recognition.
  • Intercountry committees, which promote peace, friendship, and strengthen relationships between two countries, offer opportunities for members to foster inter-cultural understanding. Read how the France-USA Intercountry Committee is supporting young leaders working to advance peace and cultural understanding.

Rotary Peace Fellows

Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,000 fellows for careers in peacebuilding. Many of them are serving as leaders at international organizations or have started their own foundations. Rotary members can support the fellowship program by:

  • Becoming a Peacebuilder District. Your district can support the Rotary Peace Centers by allocating a minimum of $25,000 annually in District Designated Funds (DDF). Learn more.
  • Promoting the program within your club and district to identify and nominate candidates for the fellowships. Use the resources on this page for recruiting candidates and publicizing the program. The 2018 Rotary Peace Fellowship application is available and candidates have until 31 May to submit applications to their district.

How is your club and district Rotary Peace and Conflict/Resolution month? Share what programs and activities you are implanting in the comments below!

What makes a Rotaract project outstanding?

By Molly Friend, Rotary Programs for Young Leaders Staff

Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service.

Every year, Rotaract clubs around the world develop innovative solutions to community challenges. Rotary annually recognizes these high-impact, sustainable projects with the Rotaract Outstand
ing Project Awards
.

So what makes a Rotaract project outstanding?

1) Change

1Last year’s Outstanding Project Awardee, the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi in Uganda, aimed to support a rural community with the highest impact possible. Working alongside local doctors and schools, they provided everything from school supplies to comprehensive medical screenings, dental exams, and HIV screenings and prevention education. Since access to clean drinking water is one of the primary reasons children miss school, the club also dug a borehole to bring clean water to the rural community.

2) A Cause

2Rotary is dedicated to six causes that build a better world. Outstanding projects work towards one or more of these six areas of focus. For example, the Turkish Rotaract Club of Istanbul-Dolmabahçe’s outstanding project focused on Saving Mothers and Children. Their project, “Still Child”, took a stand against young women and girls who are forced into underage marriage. The Rotaract club organized conferences in rural areas where the practice is still common to break the silence on the issue and bring awareness to resulting consequences.

3) Creativity

3Look at old problems with new, unique ideas. By imagining possibilities and trying new things, great solutions emerge. The Rotaract Club of the Caduceus in India upgraded outdated disease-tracking systems by harnessing new mobile technologies. This innovative approach improved disease surveillance to study epidemiological trends in the region.

4) Collaboration

4Rotary is about bringing people together to create change; we love to see Rotaractors and Rotarians working together in service. 12 Rotaract clubs from five districts across Turkey and Russia worked with the Down Syndrome Association to organize a communication and skills training for children and adults with Down Syndrome.

5) Commitment

5Dedicated Rotaractors are fundamental to creating outstanding projects. As part of the “Ready to Succeed” project, designed by the Rotaract Club of Brimingham, USA, high school juniors and seniors were paired with Rotaract mentors in aims of better preparing the students for college. The Rotaract mentors developed these relationships over a number of years, demonstrating their commitment to helping youth enroll in college.

Do you know of a Rotaract Outstanding Project? Submit a Outstanding Project Awards nomination by 1 February . To learn more about the projects referenced in this blog read about last year’s awardees.

How my first trip to Africa changed my life

By Shapreka Clarke, President of Rotaract Club of Eleuthera in the Bahamas

After eighteen hours of flying from the Bahamas, I finally arrived in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on 19 October, 2016, to participate in the 11th West Africa Project Fair.  As I stepped foot on African soil for the first time, I did not know the adventure that was ahead of me, the lasting friendships I would make or how my life would forever be changed.  That first moment getting off the plane, I remember being very excited and a little nervous.

img_7080Through the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Rancho Cotati in California, I was able to embark on this journey with 34 fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors from the United States and the Bahamas.  While in Port Harcourt, we participated in the project fair and community service projects which included visiting a community health clinic which provided free medications and a local school where we handed out back packs to students.  We visited historic sites and tried lots and lots of local food.

The West Africa Project Fair, the primary purpose of our trip, gave our group an opportunity to discover the various projects Rotarians across Africa are undertaking.  It also allowed us to form partnerships with projects we were interested in supporting.  While at the fair, I presented with Rotaractors and Rotarians from the Bahamas, California, and Yenagoa, Nigeria, about our joint Telemedicine Project.  Telemedicine allows doctors from California to connect with doctors in underserved areas to consult on diagnoses and treatment plans.  Despite the distance, doctors have consistent access to mentors and educational opportunities through telemedicine.  Our booth raised awareness about the project and encouraged clubs across Africa to participate while forming new partnerships with clubs in the United States.

One of the most memorable days of the trip was World Polio Day.  Our group was joined by local Rotarians and Rotaractors as we started activities early in the morning with a 1 kilometer walk through the Port Harcourt community.  This walk gave us an opportunity to see more of the community while also raising awareness about polio.  Para soccer players also accompanied us on the walk and we attended a para Soccer game at the end of the day.  Para soccer serves as a global employment mechanism for people with disabilities.  Watching these men play soccer despite their disabilities was truly inspiring.

After the walk we visited polio immunization health centers across Port Harcourt where we administered polio immunization drops to children under five years of age.  To be able to immunize a child and help Nigeria get one step closer to eradicating polio was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

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This trip allowed me to better understand how important Rotary is in other parts of the world.  I was given an opportunity to engage in field work in the local communities, create strong friendships with the West African Rotarians and Rotaractors, and participate in hands-on humanitarian and health related work.  It was truly a life changing opportunity.

The 2017 West Africa Project Fair will be hosted in Accra, Ghana, 4-11 October 2017. For more information, visit www.rotarywestafricaprojectfair.org; contact registration@rotarywestafricaprojectfair.org to register.

Connecting for good at Multi-Club Workshops

By Leonardo de Angelis, Rotary Club of Ravenna (Italy), immediate past District 2072 Rotary Foundation Chair, and founder and coordinator of the Multi-Club Workshop

Since 2007, I have had the pleasure of working with Rotarian friends, new and old, to organize Multi-Club Workshops, an annual meeting where international Rotarians, relatives, and friends meet to foster intercultural dialogue, inspire each other through their humanitarian projects, and build partnership for international projects and global grants.

This year’s event was particularly special as a group of more than 60 participants descended upon beautiful Palermo, Italy, to participate in the 10th annual Multi-Club Workshop (MCW) while also celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Rotary Foundation. With heartfelt thanks to the great support of the Rotary Club of Palermo Teatro del Sole and District 2110 (Sicily & Malta), the September 2016 MCW welcomed participants from 25 clubs representing 10 districts and six countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy, Russia, Sweden, the UK, and the United States.

We were also joined by two representatives from Rotary and The Rotary Foundation, Lauren Ribant Regional Grants Officer, and Ellina Kushnir, Supervisor of Service and Engagement, who presented about resources to support and enhance projects and important considerations when applying for grant funding from TRF.

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The first two days of the event were filled with cultural immersion, exploring historic sites and eating delicious food, seeing local Rotary club projects, getting to know fellow participants and learning about their personal, professional, and Rotary lives, and engaging in fruitful discussions about resources and collaborating to maximize good.

The event culminated in a full-day workshop where we discussed strategies and resources for successful service projects and grants, learned about the many challenges facing communities around the world, and heard project proposals from eight Rotary club-led projects. The eight projects will benefit communities in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Congo, Greece, India, Myanmar, Philippines, and the U.K. The total value of these projects is equal to US $550,000. This year, through a preferential vote, all of the participants voted to support one of the presented projects with a pooled sum of US $4,342 (EUR 4000). With a tie in votes, two projects each received US $2,171 (EUR 2,000) to support their respective goals. We’re continuing to foster the relationships we made at the event and build partnerships to support each other’s projects. Each project exhibitor is now actively seeking to connect with international partnering clubs to begin implementing the projects presented at the 10° MCW.

Over the past 10 years, 45 projects with a combined value of US $2.18 million identified partners and received support as a result of the Multi-Club Workshop. Since our first event was hosted in 2007, more than 660 Rotarians and their families have participated in the workshops. Our workshops are hosted in a different country every year, and we welcome new exhibitors seeking project support along with.

Join us next year in London, England, for our 11th annual event. The 2017 Multi-Club Workshop will take place 6-10 September. Visit our website for more information and contact me to reserve your spot at next year’s event!

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